Blue Streak - Europa On the right is a plan view of the Europa design.

This is from an early document (circa 1964), and the final version would have been a little different - principally in the German third stage. Two small vernier motors were added later.

As a design, it is unexceptional. The first two stages are adaptations of existing designs; the only new component being the third stage. Germany had had little experience in rocketry after the War, and so this represented a new start. However, it was this stage that was to give the most problem.

Curiously, given the German reputation for engineering, this stage saw repeated failures -partly due to the ambitious nature of the design, and partly due to a variety of engineering faults. The report on the failure of F11, the last Europa launch, was particularly critical of the standard of engineering, and particularly the electrical system. This was not adequately earthed, leading to a failure of the electronics and guidance system as a result of electrostatic discharge.

This is the French second stage.

It burned UDMH and N2O4 as fuels.

In place of turbopumps, the tanks were pressurised from a gas generator, the gases being derived from combustion of the fuels.

The main Blue Streak stage was 10 foot in diameter, but the upper stages were 2.0 metre diameter.

The German third stage: the vernier motors and the helium pressurisation bottles can be seen either side of the main motor nozzle.

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